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E6: The Game Inside D&D

Lughart

First Post
Been lurking these threads for a while, and I want to chime in with a word of appreciation for the inventor. I play/GM an E6 pathfinder game, and while we are just at lvl 5 so far, I can't wait to see what the game holds that regular d20 don't.
 

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Brudewollen

First Post
I haven't run a game in a number of years and am considering using E6 for my next as it's more in line with the kind of feel I prefer for a fantasy world (lower magic, gritty, etc. - big fan of George R.R. Martin's books).

One simple question I didn't see addressed anywhere. The OP/inventor makes mention of "Ritual" magic in Unearthed Arcana. I've been going through my old Unearthed Arcana book and I assume he means the Incantation rules? I even did a word search on the UA PDF and there doesn't seem to be anything on "ritual magic" in there that I can find. Please, am I missing something obvious and if so, what page of the UA book is it on?
 

kevin_video

Explorer
No, that's what he's talking about. The incantations are rituals. They just got called "ritual magic".

If you wanted anything different, you'd likely have to house rule other systems, like the Green Ronin books, so that they'd fit better.

You can Google search "D&D ritual magic", and it'll give you a few ideas on what other books you could look at. That's helped me.
 

VanceMadrox

First Post
What are the relative advantages of E6 vs E8?

I'm looking at it mainly from a Pathfinder perspective but appreciate any comments.


For E6 it seems to be slightly easier prep work and keeping 4th level spells out of PC hands.


For E8 meanwhile, it seems to be a more logical breakpoint for most Pathfinder classes.

Does E8 really not keep the "spirit of E6"?


A few points of comparison to consider:

BaB: It's a 2 point difference for all but ½ BaB classes. Some people may not like the extra +2 to hit but I think the biggest issue here is ¾ BaB classes getting an extra iterative attack. This is really a matter of personal preference. Advantage: Tie

Break point: As has been pointed out in Pathfinder 8th level is a better break point for a lot of classes. Barbarians get damage reduction at 7, Rogues get improved uncanny Dodge. Domains and Arcane Schools vary on when they get their last powers. In E6 this could cause people to shy away from ones that don’t get powers till 8th level. In E8 it’s a non-issue. Sure you can make such things EPIC feats but for ease of use, E8 works better here. Advantage: E8.

Hit Points: 2 levels of hit points matter more than 2 levels of BaB and saves. At 8th level characters can have 70+ HP. I can understand the argument for keeping HP more reasonable. Advantage: E6

Leadership: This really depends on whether you like Leadership or not. By RAW Leadership is not available in E6 and it is in E8. This can be fixed easily by making it an EPIC feat but it still’s something to consider though ultimately a matter of preference: Advantage: Tie

Prep time: E6 keeps things a little lower powered so of course prepping is easier. It may only be a 2 level difference but I have seen from experience that 1st level Orcs out of the Bestiary are no challenege for 8th level characters. They’re not much challenege for 6th level ones either mind you but if they get lucky they’re much more likely to take 1 out. This may really just be because of the more HP though. And if you’re a GM who doesn’t mind throwing a few class levels on something then it’s not much difference. There’s plenty of non-humanoid monsters that can still be used straight out of the book. Advantage: E6

Rules ease: A lot of people who run E6 seem to use the lean up approach and grant a lot of abilities available to regular 7th and 8th level characters as feats. Overall it seems like more work to create EPIC feats for everything you do want instead of playing E* and removing what you don’t. Advantage: E8

Saves: The only difference between 6th and 8th level is 1 point in a class’s good saves. Not a big issue. Advantage: Tie

Setting: In E6 you can create a sandbox world and 1st level characters mostly have a chance to successfully run away from anything. In E8 this is less true. Also the difference between 1st and 6th levels humans is less than that between 1st and 8th and overall seems more believable. To me it seems that in an E6 world you can get away with having most people be 1st level but for E8 it makes more sense if the average person is 2nd or 3rd level. Not a huge issue but something to consider. A matter of personal preference once again: Advantage : tie

Spells: A lot of people seem to point out higher level spells as something that complicates things and makes caster too powerful at higher levels. Personally with a few exceptions I don’t see an issue with most 4th level spells. There’s also lesser caster to consider. In E8 Alchemists, Bards, Inquisitors, and Summoners get 3rd level spells, in E6 they don’t. Looking on the lists I don’t see a lot of problematical spells here either. Advantage: E6 but only slightly.

Any thoughts? Anyone actually try both E6 and E8? If so how were your experiences with both?
 

Ry

Explorer
E8 has a couple of problematic spells, like Evard's Black Tentacles, which can completely neutralize a character. 8th level in 3.5 was the very beginning of the magic-item arms race, as I saw it.

But I don't know Pathfinder well enough to comment. E8 may well be a better fit for Pathfinder.
 

VanceMadrox

First Post
There are definitely a few 4th level spells that might need to banned and I have my eye on Black Tentacles as one possibility.

With the way grappling works now in Pathfinder I'm not sure it needs it though.

It's still a game breaker against non fighting types but from personal experience I've seen that there's a good chance that a fighting type won't be grappled. Being grappled is also not as bad as it use dto be.

Pathfinder has mechanics called Combat Manuever Bonus (CMB) and Combat Manuever Defense (CMD)

Basically roll a d20, add your CMB and if it meets or beats the opponent's CMD it works.

For Black tentacles CMB is Caster Level + 4 (STR) +1 Size. Sp at 8th level it's CMB is +13.

CMD is 10+ BaB + Str Mod + Dex Mod + Size Mod (0 for medium)
At 8th level a fighting type could easily have a a +4 in str or dex and a =3 in another (or +5 and +2). Adding in 8 BaB and that's a CMD of 25.

So against a well built fighting type the Caster needs a 12 or higher on the d20 to grapple the fighter type.

It's a little harder to break out of the grapple. For breaking out the spell's CMD is 10+ it's CMB bonus. So CMD 23.

CMB is BaB + Str Mod + Size Mod.
Assuming an 18 Str and an 8 Bab that's a +12 on the die roll. That means the figher only needs an 11 on the die.


For non fighting types it's a little worse but overall Black tentacles is much less deadly in Pathfinder.
 

Ry

Explorer
If you decide to go Pathfinder E8, I would recommend that you slow down the 7th and 8th level advancement, and make those levels more rare in the NPC world. Those are definitely big levels.
 

VanceMadrox

First Post
I can see that point.

7th and 8th level characters should be akin to Hercules, Jason, King Arthur, Merlin and the like. Legends among men.

I'm still highly debating the merits of both E6 and E8 and have not made a decision.
E6 is certainly more in the realms of human while E8 reaches the beginnings of superhuman.

But E8 really does seem to work better as a break point for Pathfinder classes.
 


Kingreaper

Adventurer
I can see that point.

7th and 8th level characters should be akin to Hercules, Jason, King Arthur, Merlin and the like. Legends among men.

I'm still highly debating the merits of both E6 and E8 and have not made a decision.
E6 is certainly more in the realms of human while E8 reaches the beginnings of superhuman.

But E8 really does seem to work better as a break point for Pathfinder classes.
An option to consider: When they would hit 7th, give a feat, as for E6. When they'd get the second bonus feat, they hit 7th. Then 2 or 3 feats before hitting 8th. Then, they never reach ninth.

It's a bit of a combo of E6 and E8, and makes it more obvious that the final two levels are big.
 

Achan hiArusa

Explorer
What about the use of incantations ala Urban Arcana in E6, would you allow them and what restrictions or spells would you ban?

Typically I throw away spell seeds and use actual spells as seeds and modify them (I also did this in a Epic game for epic spells).
 

VanceMadrox

First Post
Actually that's another good difference between the two.

With E6 I feel that incantations are almost necessary.

With E8 (using a leaning up approachto allow a couple important 5th level spells) I don't feel that incantations are necessary.
 

Emirikol

Adventurer
I cant believe this thread is still going. Its like the energiZer bunny
:)

..I usually burn out by the 2nd half of these systems not because of the game..but because of lack of scenario support...

jh
 

Ry

Explorer
I actually would re-boot the thread again, maybe in a different subforum.

But I'd want to do a rewrite of the E6 .pdf first, and before I could do that I'd want to be sure that I could get good layout for it.

I'm not sure J.A.Dettman has the time anymore (I sent him an e-mail to query, though.)
 





Sanglorian

Explorer
There's been some talk on RPGnet of whether it's possible to sell a physical copy of an RPG for US$2.99 or less. I think E6 would be a good candidate for such a project!

Each player buys a race-and-class booklet for $2.99 and the DM buys the DM's guide for $2.99. The player booklets allow you to play, say, a gnome druid or an elven bard -- but you can also use the race from one booklet with the class from another.

The DM's guide would be pared down to only the necessary rules, as well as a brief starting adventure.
 


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